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Winthrop Neighbors Stunned By Revelations About Man Who Killed 2 Black Residents05:34
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Flowers are seen near where a gunman killed two people after crashing a stolen truck on Saturday in Winthrop. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Flowers are seen near where a gunman killed two people after crashing a stolen truck on Saturday in Winthrop. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Some neighbors said they were stunned to learn about the extremist views of a man accused of a double murder in Winthrop over the weekend.

Authorities said Nathan Allen, 28, of Winthrop fatally shot Air Force Veteran Ramona Cooper, 60, and retired State Trooper David Green, 58, on Saturday. Allen was subsequently killed in a shootout with police.

Both victims were Black and prosecutors say the murders may have been motivated by hate. Authorities found anti-Semitic and anti-Black diatribes in a notebook in Allen's home.

One neighbor, who has talked to Allen and saw him writing in a notebook, said her sense of peace and trust in her neighbors was destroyed by the news.

She said she recalls talking to Allen about her child's health conditions and thought he seemed intelligent and helpful. The woman, who didn’t want to be named for fear of her children’s safety, said he was was eager to share his views on child brain development and even offered advice on how her child was doing. Allen was a physical therapist who had earned his doctorate.

She was shocked when she heard this week that the notebook contained swastikas and assertions that the white race is an apex predator over other races. Now, she wonders whether her own multiracial children were mentioned in his journals.

Many other neighbors said they didn't want to talk about Allen. One said they were petrified. But a few others who had limited encounters with Allen said he seemed like a normal guy.

People who knew him said he was a strong advocate for the Second Amendment. And his Instagram account included pictures of an assault rifle and ammo.

One person who was willing to share her name was Maria Castillo, who works in a convenience store across from the apartment complex where Allen and his wife lived.  Speaking in Spanish, she explained she can't live in fear.

"Violence is everywhere," said Castillo, who is originally from Mexico and now lives in Chelsea.

According to public records and other information, Allen grew up in Wareham, went to college at UMass Dartmouth and got his doctorate at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in physical therapy in January. His wedding during the pandemic was featured in a Boston Globe column at the time. He got married in a nursing home last year, so his bride's 92-year-old grandfather could attend.

A photograph of Nathan Allen, 28. (Courtesy Suffolk County District Attorney's Office)
A photograph of Nathan Allen, 28. (Courtesy Suffolk County District Attorney's Office)

But District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a press conference Monday that it’s clear the alleged killer was fueled by hate.

“There was hate in this man's heart," Rollins said. "Whether that was the only reason he did what he did, we're not going to be fully sure. But I can tell you, I am certain of his language in his own handwriting and certain of the fact that the two people that were murdered are Black, and several people he encountered that were not, lived.”

There are signs in Winthrop that read "Hate has no place here," though it's not clear whether they were erected after the incident.

The town is planning a vigil Thursday evening and said counseling will be available.

This segment aired on June 30, 2021.

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Simón Rios Twitter Reporter
Simón Ríos is an award-winning bilingual reporter in WBUR's newsroom.

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